March 2007: Search Engine Land’s Most Popular Stories

Below are Search Engine Land’s 10 most popular stories from March 2007:

1) Google Now Reporting Anchor Text Phrases – Hurray! Finally, you can get a report from Google of the top anchor text phrases used when people link to your site. Google Webmaster Central has just announced the new feature. But didn’t Google already report anchor text data? Yes, but only keywords, not phrases. Keywords are mostly useless junk food data. Phrases are datalicious, tasty and helpful. Below, a detailed and illustrated look at what a difference a phrase makes and how to claim your own.

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2) Google Warning Against Letting Your Search Results Get Indexed – The days of doing a Google search that brings up results leading to search results from other sites are heading for a close. Matt Cutts, in his Search Results In Search Results post today, points out a change to Google’s guidelines that shows a crackdown on this type of material may begin. More about what I’m talking about below, plus the question of whether Google should do the same with paid listings. Over time, more and more pages seem to show up in Google search results that are merely lists of search results from those sites. To illustrate this, consider a search for dvd players:

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3) Dissecting Microsoft Slams At Google As Copyright Infringer – Last October, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer gave us a taste of how Microsoft was going to position Google as a copyright leech. Today, Microsoft launched a full-out assault on the company. Google deserves some of this, no doubt. But the idea as Microsoft as some altruistic copyright savior deserves some critical analysis, as well. Below, I’ll dissect Microsoft’s slams against Google, pointing out where they can be redirected back at Microsoft itself. But overall, I remain in agreement that Google should shift book search to an opt-in basis when dealing with copyrighted works.

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4) The Duplicate Content Penalty Myth – One thing that has plagued the SEO industry for years has been a lack of consistency when it comes to SEO terms and definitions. One of the most prevalent misnomers being bandied about is the phrase "duplicate content penalty." I’m here to tell you that there is no such thing as a search engine penalty for duplicate content. At least not the way many people believe there is. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that the search engines like and appreciate duplicate content — they don’t. But they don’t specifically penalize websites that happen to have some duplicate content. Duplicate content has been and always will be a natural part of the Web. It’s nothing to be afraid of. If your site has some dupe content for whatever reason, you don’t have to lose sleep every night worrying about the wrath of the Google gods. They’re not going to shoot lightning bolts at your site from the sky, nor are they going to banish your entire website from ever showing up when someone searches for what you offer. The duplicate content probably won’t show up in searches, but that’s not the same thing as a penalty. Let me explain.

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5) Google’s Matt Cutts on Personalization and the Future of SEO – Last week I talked with Google’s Marissa Mayer about the user side of personalization. This week I had the chance to sit down with Matt Cutts at the Googleplex and asked him what the impact of personalization will be on the SEO community. One thing that was interesting in the Marissa Mayer interview was finding out just how much impact personalization would have for most of us in our Google search experience. The fact is, right now, personalization won’t make that much of a difference in many of our searches.

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6) Google: Click Fraud Is 0.02% Of Clicks – Finally, we have a click fraud rate from Google itself: less than 0.02 percent of all clicks slip past its filters and are caught after advertisers request reviews. That low figure is sure to bring out the critics who will disagree. Below, more about how Google comes up with the figure plus some click fraud fighting initiatives it plans to implement later this year.

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7) The 5 Secrets PPC Agencies Don’t Want You to Know – Nearly three-fourths of companies that outsource their pay-per-click search marketing to agencies are dissatisfied with their results, and only 21 percent are completely satisfied, according to a Jupiter Research published late last year. What causes this dissatisfaction, especially for B2B marketers? There are five factors at work:

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8) Digg’s Kevin Rose Fails To Stop The Bury Brigade – After a week of questions about Digg’s "Bury Brigade," Digg founder Kevin Rose has come in with some public comments about the system and the "alleged" brigade. Unfortunately, they’re just comments — not solutions to protect Digg from the actual brigade I myself can see. More about that in the article below, plus how buries work and can be misused.

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9) Google Launches Pay Per Action Ads – Google announced a limited U.S. only beta for a new service they are calling Pay Per Action ads. Google Pay Per Action will allow advertisers to create ads that cost only when a desired action is triggered. The advertiser sets the price per action; for example, an advertiser can decide to pay $5 per lead acquisition, as opposed to paying per click or per impression. These Pay Per Action ads are available to a limited number of AdSense publishers. Publishers will be able to select which Pay Per Action ads they would like to display on their content sites. A publisher accepted into the beta can choose to display all pay per action ads, or select to show keyword specific ads or select a specific ad from a specific advertiser. To do so, the publisher will have to login to their AdSense accounts, go to the referrals section and select other referrals from the options.

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10) UFO Crawler: The Truth Is Out There & Searchable – IBM and Yahoo teamed up to bring to you UFOCrawler, a search engine that is about finding sources on "UFO Sightings, time travel, conspiracy theories and anomalies." For example, a search on area 51 returns 7,904 sources, unfortunately some of the results do not look all that great. It is important to note that all the other tabbed searches (i..e Web Images Video Audio Directory Local News) take you to Yahoo, the Enterprise tab takes you to UFOCrawler results. This is powered by IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition enterprise and brought to you by the Anomalies Network.

To see all of our most popular stories over time, visit our Most Popular Stories page.

Related Topics: Channel: Other | Most Popular Stories

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About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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